Bonnie St. John will offer remarks at NYU Abu Dhabi’s graduation ceremony on May 27, 2019. NYU Abu Dhabi’s graduating class is comprised of some 270 students from more than 75 countries around the world. The graduation ceremony will be held at NYU Abu Dhabi’s campus on Saadiyat Island.
Despite having her right leg amputated at age five, St. John became the first African-American ever to win medals in Winter Olympic competition, taking home a silver and two bronze medals in downhill events at the 1984 Paralympics in Innsbruck, Austria.
St. John has achieved the highest levels of success in a variety of endeavors throughout her life. In addition to her success as a Paralympic athlete, she is a best-selling author, a highly sought after keynote speaker, a television and radio personality, a business owner, and a Fortune 500 leadership consultant.
She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University in 1986, and won a Rhodes Scholarship to the University of Oxford, taking a Master of Letters degree in Economics. Upon her return to the United States, St. John was appointed by President Bill Clinton as a director for Human Capital Issues on the White House National Economic Council.
The celebrated author of seven books, St. John's most recent book, Micro-Resilience: Minor Shifts for Major Boosts in Focus, Drive and Energy, outlines a quick, easy, and immediately effective program of tools and techniques to give readers a competitive edge in today's dynamic world of changes and challenges.
St. John has been featured extensively in both national and international media including: Today, CNN, CBS Morning News, NBC News, PBS, NPR, and The New York Times, as well as People, “O” and Essence magazines, to name just a few.
Speaking on behalf of the graduating class will be NYUAD student Rayan Elsharkawi. Raised in Egypt, Elsharkawi is majoring in Computer Science and Economics, with a specialization in Finance. Emirati student Majida Al Maktoum, who was recently selected as a 2019 Rhodes Scholar, will also offer brief welcome remarks.
This ceremony will be NYUAD’s sixth Commencement since graduating its inaugural class in 2014.